“Run to the Sun” brings history of charity, vintage rides to Myrtle Beach

Grand Strand

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – Thousands of hot rods and vintage rides are in the city this weekend for the 31st Annual Run to the Sun.

The classic car and truck show is the unofficial start of spring for many classic car lovers in the Carolinas and all over the East Coast. At least 25,000 people are expected to check out this year’s rides, but that wasn’t the case 31 years ago.

David Rodgers is from the small Florence County town of Scranton and has remodeled classic cars for more than 50 years.

This year, he’s showing off his 1965 Ford GT350-H Mustang, which took him more than a year to redo.

“I grew up in the country on the tobacco farm and just learned to work on cars,” said Rodgers, who’s a member of the Pee Dee Street Rodders.

In 1978, Rodgers and some friends had an idea to raise money for charity.

“We came to the beach, right to the old Myrtle Square Mall, and put on a car show,” Rodgers said. “We donated $500 that year to Make-A-Wish and we had 84 cars.”

Since that day, the Pee Dee Street Rodders have raised more than $1.8 million for several charities. This year, the charities include the Children’s Miracle Network, Multiple Sclerosis Society, Horry County Benevolent Fund, Miracle Leagues of Myrtle Beach and Florence, as well as several smaller charities. 

While Myrtle Square Mall is gone, more than 3,300 vintage rides are parked in its place. Jack Keenan brought his remodeled 1972 Plymouth Duster down from near Pittsburgh.

This is his first time at Run to the Sun.

“It was a plaid, grandma car, six cylinders originally, from Redding, California,” Keenan said.

Mark Casstevens of Yadkinville, North Carolina, bought a teal Chevrolet Suburban at Run to the Sun last year. He then found a matching 52-year-old Serro Scotty camper.

The owner kept it in incredible shape and left everything original, inside and outside, but the tires.

“He kept extensive records of every camping trip and every restoration,” Casstevens said, pointing to the travel log, which includes a 2001 trip to Myrtle Beach.

Rodgers says the car show and the people mean so much to him.

“They’re my family,” he said. “They’re my car family.”

Saturday is the final day of Run to the Sun. The show is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It’s located between 21st and 29th avenues north off Oak Street and Kings Highway.

No roads will be closed, but expect plenty of traffic around the show from vehicles of all ages.

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